A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, February 3, 2012

An Oum Kulthum Interview for the 37th Anniversary the Day the "Star of the East" Left the Building

Today is the 37th anniversary of February 3, 1975, Oum Kulthum, the greatest and most popular singer the Arab world has known, died at the age of 76. On this day two years ago, I offered a full appreciation, including some clips of her music. Her reputation survives her by a full generation. Her statue in Cairo, like many other statues in the city, was given an eyepatch in solidarity with the demonstrators who lost eyes to tear gas canisters:

There is plenty of her music available on YouTube and elsewhere, but I thought for this anniversary I would instead post an interview with her done in Paris in 1967 after the Arab-Israeli War, which has English subtitles and lets you hear her speak (to hear her sing, go just about anywhere):

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